Last week, Donald Trump officially announced that Bill Shine, a now-disgraced former Fox News executive, will serve as the White House’s deputy chief of staff for communications.
Shine was fired from the network following a sexual harassment scandal alongside alleged serial sex offender Bill O’Reilly, whom multiple women have accused of sexual misconduct and the network paid over $30 million to protect. Last May, following the revealed cover-up of at least three lawsuits involving both sexual abuse and harassment, the men were dismissed. O’Reilly was given a multi-million dollar severance package; now, Shine will provide assistance to the president.
O’Reilly endorsed his former boss for the top White House communications role late last month. “If Bill Shine gets the job of White House communications director, that will be good for the country,” he tweeted June 27. “Shine is smart and honest.”
The women formerly of Fox News would likely disagree. During his tenure, Shine allegedly hired investigators to intimidate and attack reporters critical of Fox News, and former Fox host Andrea Tantaros accused him of attempting to “intimidate, terrorize and crush her through an endless stream of lewd, offensive and career-damaging social media posts, blog entries and commentary.” She also alleged that he was monitoring her emails and phone calls, including those to and from family members.
Former Fox executive Laurie Luhn alleged that she was not only coerced into engaging in sexual activities, but also being videotaped while doing so, by former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, which resulted in her having a “mental breakdown.” Fox executives isolated Luhn during this period in New York’s Warwick Hotel for six weeks; Shine admitted to personally hand-picking the psychiatrist she visited. Luhn tried to kill herself before recovering and taking legal action against Fox.
Shine will be the fifth deputy chief of staff appointed by Trump since his inauguration last year, and he joins a cadre of Fox media personalities now staffing the White House—including National security adviser John Bolton and White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp. He will fill a post left vacant by Hope Hicks, who resigned in March to “pursue new opportunities” after admitting to the House Intelligence Committee that she’d told “white lies” for the president, helping him craft a misleading statement about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign and coordinating the White House’s clumsy response to allegations of domestic abuse against staff secretary Rob Porter.